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Osun State Government Speaks On The Controversial 20 Million Dollars World Bank Grant Given To Improve Health Care System In The State

Source: Joseph B.Oduntan
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Mr. Ismail Omipidan, Osun state chief press secretary to the governor and government spokes person has described as false, unfounded, malicious and sladerous the allegations made by senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi representing Osun East federal constituency at the senate, that the saving one million lives (SOML) federal government world bank 20 million dollars supported project grant to revamp the state health sector was not judiciously utilised by the government as many hospitals in the state are still without drugs, appropriate working facilities and understaffed.

He made the statement on 16th July, 2020 in Osogbo, Osun state capital during an interview with Ace broadcast Journalist, Mr. 'Femi Olanipekun during his weekly daily radio program 'Frank Talk' to inform and educate the public on the matter.

Mr. Omipidan see the sensitive nature of Hon. Fadahunsi's statement as one that could incite the anger of the people against the government to breach peace in the state.

He expressed his regrets that it is rather unfortunate, degrading and a clog in the wheel of progress that such statement was made by an elderly, learned, well respected and distinguished senator of the federal republic of Nigeria.

As the issue has generated much public discussion in the social media, Mr. Omipidan said, he would love to see an independent investigation committee set up by the federal government to look into the spending matter of SOML (PforR) world bank project grant given to the state.

Mr. Omipidan expressed the fact that the first phase of the federal government saving one million lives(SOML) program started in 2012, before the incumbent governor came on board, with the disbursement of one million dollars to each state in the country to commence the project.

The disbursement of the twenty million dollars grant for the second phase of the project he said, was through the country's central bank (CBN) early in 2019 when Alhaji 'Gboyega Oyetola had assumed office as governor in the state. The CBN is the sole body charged with the responsibility to see that state governments judiciously spend the grants to revitalise health care system in their various states for the benefit the people.

On the issue about the exact conversion of the money to Nigeria Naira currency, Mr. Omipidan said, the market dollar conversion rate at the time was 305 Naira per dollar, which makes it six point one(6.1) billion naira and not nine (9)billion Naira as purported by senator Fadahunsi.

The state chief press secretary said, despite the state's indebtedness and great need for money to pay salaries, pensions and implement projects, governor Oyetola has been prudent with the spending of the health care development grant for the use it is meant for.

Since receiving the grant he said, the committee set up by the governor for the implementation of the project in the state focused its attention on improving the basic primary health care centres and a few selected secondary health care centres in the state.

He said, Osun state with about 30 local government areas, has about 350 wards and roughly 800 primary health care centres. And to make sure the people benefit from the project, government he said, came up with the idea of revitalising or upgrading one primary health care centre per ward and one secondary-health care centre per senatorial district.

Mr. Omipidan said, before the start of the project, hospitals and primary care centres in the state were in total disrepair without drugs, poor working facilities and appropriate working staff.

He says today, government through the grant has completed about 256 primary health care centres ready for commissioning out of 350 primary health care centres ear marked for the project.

The Asubiaro General hospital in Osogbo he said, was revitalised and provided with staff quarters. In addition he said, the hospital was provided with isolation centres, the intensive care unit of the hospital was also upgraded and provided with seven(7)ventilators and this help save the lives of people during the conoid-19 pandemic crisis in the state.

Mr. Omipidan said, the Ejigbo General Hospital in the state was also revitalised and this also helped the government in testing, isolation and treatment of the 127 Ivory Coast returnees to Osun state and this largely helped to check the spread of the novel disease in the state of Osun state.

This great feat in health care delivery to the people of Alhaji Oyetola led administration in Osun state received commendation from the king and people of Ejigbo.

The Ifetedo General Hospital he said, has been completed and will soon be equipped to serve the people.

The government he said, provided drugs, work equipment and basic health care facilities for the primary and secondary health care centres covered by the project in the state.

The American medical team who visited the state to evaluate work on the project commended the government for its achievement and efforts to improve health care system in the state.

He noted that since the start of the SOML program in 2012, Osun state has been rated second best after Yobe state by the World bank in its achievements and judicious use of the grant.

The inhabitants of Osogbo metropolis during a commissioning program commended the government for renovating the Osogbo Sabo primary health care centre, providing drugs, equipment and staff to meet the health care need of the people.

Government he said also provide monthly subvention to manage working equipment in all the primary and secondary health care centres in the state.

Engineer Remi Omowaye, Osun state commissioner for works and a member of the state working committee for SOML in his comment on the matter said, it is disheartening to hear that Hon. Fadahunsi has not seen anything good about the efforts and achievements of government on the implementation of the SOML project in Osun state.

He says in Osun East, his senatorial district, the project renovated and upgraded about 79 primary health care centres, provided them with drugs, staff and working facilities to function properly.

He said, politics apart, governor Oyetola has performed excellently to move the state forward, building on the foundation of his predecessor.

In their maiden meet the press monthly briefing early in July, 2020 where commissioners in the state cabinet gave report of work done in their respective ministries and achievements made since assumption of office as a process put in place to evaluate the activity of individual commissioner in the state, Dr. Isamotu, Hon. commissioner for Health and environment in Osun state, commended government efforts and achievements for the SOML project in the state.

He said, much has been spent on the project and government is intensifying efforts for the completion of the project in good time according to guidelines given by world bank to meet the need of the people.

68 year old Hon. Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi hails from Ilase-ijesa in Osun state, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian politician, a member of the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP). He is the 9th senator from Osun East federal constituency to represent his people at the 9th National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Fadahunsi says a good government must be transparent and accountable to the people it serve so that the dividends of democracy gets to them at the grass-root.

He says the beauty of a viable democracy as an opposition party member in government is in the constructive criticism of serving leaders to enhance good governance.

He says by his personal evaluation of the SOML project in the state, despite the huge amount of money voted for the project, secondary and primary health care centres in the state are still operating under poor condition for effective service to the people.